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Vegan and Animal-Free Paints & Art Materials

14 thoughts on “Vegan and Animal-Free Paints & Art Materials”

  1. Thank you for this information. As a vegetarian it is extremely important to me to know just what the paints I use consist of with regards to animal products. Your initiative to provide this information is appreciated.

  2. Thank you so much for your info…while I am not vegan, I am a vegetarian who tries to avoid all unnecessary harm to our planet and those who share it!

  3. I am neither a vegan nor a vegetarian, though when I do use animal products, I try to ensure that the product was produced humanely. I respect that some people have made a commitment beyond that, and are taking the time to ask questions about the products they use. Like Roberta, I am glad that JustPaint is taking the time to clearly explain which paints use animal products and why, and also explain what products that don’t include animal products might be substituted. I certainly did not get the impression you were trying to influence anyone’s decisions, including mine. You provided information so that people who choose to not use animal products have the information they need to make an informed decision. I admire you for that. And I learned a few things along the way. Thanks. Some of my artist friends are vegan; I’ll point them to your article.

    • I wish paint manufacturers would tell us if products are vegetarian as I use honey but don’t want animal products 🙂 Also no real fur as it can be trapped or come from fur farms and there are great substitutes without it

  4. .Thanks very much for this excellent information.

    How old is the use of beeswax in oil paints?

    How does beeswax perform in heatwaves?

    Aside from beeswax, what other additives, extenders, fillers, wetting agents etc can be in Williamsburg oil paints (and not on the label) aside from oil and pigment? I’m glad to hear there’s no Alim stearate etc as Williamsburg is my chosen brand

    • Hello Bob,

      Thank you for your comment and please excuse this late response. Williamsburg Oil paints consist of pigment and alkali refined linseed oil with small additions of calcium carbonate and/or barium sulfate to modify feel where needed and a very small amount of beeswax to stabilize the oil. The paints with slower drying pigments contain also a small amount of driers.

      We have not specifically tested the impact of wax mediums on the stability of oil paint films in hot climates, which might be a valid concern. We generally don’t recommend adding more than 20 or 25% wax medium to oil paints. Beeswax melts at temperatures around 63°C-68°C/ 145°F – 154°F, so it seems unlikely that it would ‘run down a painting’, especially if the painting has already cured.

      The use of oil modifying mediums such as wax or wax-resin mixtures were already in vogue in the late 18th century. Joshua Reynolds, for instance, experimented with wax (see https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/media/23860/volume35essay2reynoldstech.pdf).

  5. As a note for your future tests a generally very well respected rival paint maker* uses a Semi-hydrogenated oil as a stabilizer. Sometimes identified in tests as hydrogenated caster oil or caster wax, it was claimed many years back by the makers as a hydrogenated ‘linseed butter’ on a popular artist forum. (Thus they can rather cheekily claim to be nothing but oil and pigment.) It seemed to perform better in water sensitivity cleaning tests than two other popular brands (It feels poor form to name names on another makers site.)

    *I do have some issues with them adding undeclared on their tube quantities of zinc white to their titanium white and a smidge of titanium white to their zinc white. What else are they toning? I feel a break of trust.

  6. I absolutely appreciate this information being put it there for easy access to all.

    I know I am one if those people who have reached out in the past to GOLDEN inquiring about which products I should about as a vegan, and I love that this is now on your site for easy reference!

    I do have a question for you all. I am completely obsessed with the color Prussian Blue Hue as it seemed to work as a great replacement for another color of yours I loved but has been discontinued (I think it was called Denim blue or something like that).

    Can you share a possible combination of others colors I might use to create a similar color to Prussian Blue Hue? Many thanks!!! This past demonstrates another reason why GOLDEN is my go to brand – the integrity of the company and high quality of products are unmatched!!!

    • Hello Devin,

      Thank you for your comment and positive feedback! That’s much appreciated. If you wanted to mix your own Prussian Blue Hue, you could simply substitute the Bone Black with Carbon Black and add only a little of that (1 part) to some Dioxaxine Purple (3 parts) and a good amount of Phthalo Blue RS (15 parts). Alternatively, you could try a 1:1 mixture of Quinacrodone Crimson and Phthalo Blue RS. Feel free to try the online mixer: https://www.goldenpaints.com/mixer. When trying to match dark colors like Prussian Blue Hue, it helps to also look at the tints on the very right. More on the color mixer can be found here: https://justpaint.org/re-introducing-the-virtual-paint-mixer/

  7. I really enjoy glazing with bone black and transparent brown oxide. Delightful color. I’d like to see you add some more animal based colours, mummy brown perhaps.


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